Works to excavate an ancient Roman bath in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Yozgat have been stopped due to lack of financial funding. The area is now fenced off, and visitors are barred from entry.
Failing political regimes are like marriages on the rocks – when it gets too dreary, they remember the past or promise the moon in some unspecified future date. But take away the AKP’s tales of glory and people face a sober autumn with COVID-19 and forex spinning out of control.
Turkey's Agriculture and Forestry Ministry has hired a contractor to build toilets and a recreational facility using concrete around Nemrut Crater Lake in the eastern province of Bitlis. The project has drawn ire from especially scientists who have been trying to have the lake recognized and included on the UNESCO Global Geoparks' List. Prof. Aydın Büyüksaraç indicated that their attempts will go futile should such a concrete structure is seen on the unique geography.
Turkish authorities have assured UNESCO leadership of their intention to work closely with the organization in carrying out the planned restoration works in Hagia Sophia after its transformation into a mosque, a Russian official said. "Now they have assured us that they will not do anything without consulting UNESCO specialists and promise to invite the organization's experts to Istanbul in the near future," he said.
Hagia Sophia appears to be a significant step in President Erdoğan's neoliberal Islamic quest. It sends a message to both Muslim and Christian communities. But Erdoğan’s quest is not purely religious; it has a fiercely neoliberal dimension.
UNESCO said on July 9 that any change in the status of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum may have to be reviewed by its World Heritage committee. The statement came a day before Turkey’s Council of State — the highest administrative court in the country — will publish its decision regarding a request to turn the sixth-century structure into a mosque.
The 14th-century Güvercinada Castle in the Aegean province of Aydın was designated a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle is located on an island named after it, which is connected to a nearby Kuşadası via a causeway, creating a unique landscape.
The Koramaz Valley in central Anatolia was added to the list of tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The volcanic landscape is home to numerous ancient underground cities, as well as tunnels that connect the residential areas.